Kaizen

This website presence has been shaped and inspired by ‘kaizen‘ – the practice of continuous improvement.

The Kaizen Institute explains that kaizen was introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai, ‘organisational theorist’ and management consultant (Wikipedia), from his text Kaizen: The key to Japan’s competitive success, back in 1986.

Kaizen has been applied to workplaces in many different industries (and quite extensively after WWII in Japan to help rebuild the country) with an aim to standardise business operations in order to eliminate wasteful processes and improve productivity.

The Kaizen Institute provides some stellar guiding principles for following the way of kaizen, all of which can be applied to the world of information management:

Good processes bring good results

Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation

Speak with data, manage by facts

Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems

Work as a team

Kaizen is everybody’s business

And much more!

One feature of kaizen that may appeal to archivists and archivally minded folk is the idea that ‘big results come from many small changes accumulated over time’ (Kaizen Institute).

Kaizen can be applied on both a personal and professional level, on a daily basis, and in many different ways. I believe the principles behind it can potentially be used in innovative ways, depending on the individual or business need at any moment in time.

Kaizen could have the power to shape the vision of new and emerging leaders and personalities involved in this fluid space that is information management, as well as to change information management processes and practice for the better.

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